EDITOR’S OPINION

posted : Apr 28, 2019

Left-wing and right-wing anti-Semitism are both evil

 

It shouldn't have to be said, but we live in incredibly stupid times so here goes: both left- and right-wing anti-Semitism are evil, fatal ideologies that we must reckon with and destroy. 

 

 

As details of this week's synagogue shooting in Poway, Calif., began to emerge, partisans immediately began pointing fingers across the aisle, blaming their political adversaries for a recent explosion of anti-Semitic attacks. As it turned out, the shooter embraced a far-right, European nationalist strain of anti-Semitism, similar to that of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter. It's no question that far-right, white nationalist, anti-Semitism has metastasized to terrifying and dangerous levels. Anti-Semitic hate crimes exploded by 37% in 2017 alone. 

It's also no question that left-wing anti-Semitism has reared its own vicious head in recent years.

Alt-right, anti-Semitic tweets towards journalists during the 2016 election overwhelmingly targeted conservatives such as Ben Shapiro and John Podhoretz, who were deemed both too Jewish and insufficiently in the tank for President Trump. Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon deemed his website "the platform for the alt-right," and Trump spent a disturbing portion of his campaign refraining from specifically denouncing anti-Semitic supporters such as David Duke. Luckily, Trump changed his tune. Eventually he kicked Bannon to the curb and embraced America's alliance with Israel. But the pervasive threat of far-right anti-Semitism has persisted. 

On the other side, though, a certain Corbynite strain of left-wing anti-Semitism has made its way across the pond, pervading universities and now Congress. The AMCHA Initiative has consistently found that anti-Zionist activism on college campuses is directly correlated with increased anti-Semitic incidents. They found that schools with at least one faculty member publicly backing the BDS movement against Israel are four times more likely to experience anti-Semitic incidents. Anti-Zionism was also correlated with a 43% increase in acts of anti-Semitic harassment or violence. The AMCHA Initiative noted in a 2017 report:

" Schools that host BDS-supporting speaker-events sponsored by Gender, Ethnic, and Middle East Studies academic units are twice as likely to have occurrences of 4 student-produced anti-Zionist expression than schools with no BDS-supporting speaker-events...Schools with instances of student-produced anti-Zionist expression, including BDS promotion, are 7 times more likely to have incidents that targeted Jewish students for harm than schools with no evidence of students’ anti-Zionist expression and the more such anti-Zionist expression, the higher the likelihood of incidents involving anti-Jewish hostility."

Anti-Semitism masquerading as mere BDS has infiltrated Congress as well, with our Corbynite representatives such as Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., repeatedly espousing anti-Semitic tropes and bigotry. And many jihadists in America, such as the San Bernardino shooters and the Bostonbombers, are also rabid anti-Semites. This has been a problem in Europe as well, especially in France.

A substantial portion of anti-Semitic hate crimes in the past few years have been executed not by white supremacists, but by black Americans. In the heavily Orthodox Jewish Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, not one anti-Semitic hate crime, of which there have been rapidly increasing numbers, has been associated with any sort of far-right group. 

Anti-Semitism predates this very country by several millennia. Its strains are vast, vicious, and varied. To decry only one side's bigotry is to politicize a matter of human dignity that ought to be shared by everyone. Don't give a pass to anyone's anti-Semitism.

 

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